Description de l´Egypte, 1809
Description de l´Egypte, 1809

Ancient Egypt: a simple chronology

c. 2600 – 2500 BCEKhufu and the Great Pyramid
c. 1390 – 1352 BCEThe reign of Amenhotep III
c. 1350 BCEConstruction of the mortuary temple of Amenhotep III
(including the colossal statues of ‘Memnon’)
c. 1352 – 1336 BCEThe revolution of Akhenaten
c. 1336 – 1327 BCEThe reign of Tutankhamun
c. 1279 – 1213 BCEThe reign of Ramesses II
c. 305 – c. 30 BCEPtolomaic Dynasty, ending with Cleopatra VII (51 – 30)
196 BCEThe Rosetta Stone erected
c. 30 BCE – 642 CEEgypt part of the Roman (later Byzantine) Empire
27 BCE – 199 CEThe period of the ‘singing’ statue of Memnon
642 CEArab conquest of Egypt

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone, 196 BCE

European perceptions of Egypt around the time of Schubert

1724Handel, Giulio Cesare in Egitto
1725Hasse, Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra
1773Death of Ali Bey al-Kabir, Mameluke governor of Egypt

Matthias Claudius writes Klage um Ali Bey (Schubert’s D 140 and D 496A)
1791Mozart / Schickaneder, Die Zauberflöte
1798Napoleon lands at Alexandria, Battle of the Pyramids

Nelson defeats the French at the Battle of the Nile
1799Discovery of the Rosetta Stone by French soldiers
1802The Rosetta Stone arrives in the British Museum
1809 – 1829Publication of Description de l’Egypte (results of French survey of Egyptian antiquities)
1815Belzoni begins work on moving ‘The Younger Memnon’ from the Ramasseum, Luxor

Schubert’s first setting of Klage um Ali Bey (D 140)
1817Schubert sets Mayrhofer’s Memnon (D 541)
1818Shelley’s Ozymandias
1821The statue of ‘The Younger Memnon’ arrives in the British Museum
1822Jean-François Champollion deciphers hieroglyphics (partly based on earlier work by Thomas Young)
1826Schubert sets Trinklied (from Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra)
1828Schubert sets Mirjams Siegesgesang (D 942)

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